Can Swimming Lead To Back Pain?

People all over the world enjoy swimming. It’s an activity you can do almost anywhere at any age. You can swim alone, with family and friends, or against others in friendly competition. Also, it’s a fun way to get a good amount of exercise. Whether you’re at the pool, water park, or beach, swimming has numerous health benefits, but can it also lead to back pain?

Back pain is often caused by strain or injury. Performing certain activities could damage the muscles in your back or hurt your spine, resulting in long-term back pain. Swimming is a low-impact activity, so it is often recommended to people with back pain. However, that doesn’t mean swimming couldn’t possibly injure someone.

Common Causes of Back Pain

Preventing back pain requires being careful with your positions, movement, and general health. A person could strain their back by sitting in the same position for too long. They could injure their spine by lifting a heavy box with improper form. Sometimes, back pain is a symptom of an illness or disease. Bad posture, chairs without support, looking down or up for too long, and other actions put pressure on your joints and strain your back muscles, making movement more painful over time.

The Benefits of Swimming

Swimming, like most exercises, touts many health and fitness benefits. Your active time in the water can build muscle strength and is excellent cardio to improve your blood flow. Swimming is also very customizable. If you’re swimming for exercise, you can decide which parts of the body you want to focus on and plan your strokes accordingly. Different strokes build different muscle groups, and some strokes use most of the muscles in your body.

Swimming Can Cause Back Pain If You’re Not Careful

Ultimately, it is possible for swimming to cause back pain. Though swimming can be beneficial for those with back problems, some strokes require forms that can be painful if you have pre-existing back pain. For example, front strokes like the butterfly can injure the lower back. To perform these strokes, you must arch your back, hyperextending your lower spine rather than keeping it neutral, putting more strain on the facet joints.

Also, just like with any exercise, improper form can injure your spine. While swimming, you have to be careful with your body’s position and movements because using improper form can strain your back muscles. For instance, jerking your body out of the water to take breaths can cause you to twist in a way that can injure your upper spine and damage vertebrae over time.

Talk to Spine Experts about How Swimming Can Affect Your Back

If you’re concerned about your back health, swimming exercises have some advantages. You are partially buoyant in a pool, so you’re putting less weight on your spine. On the other hand, your swimming technique could do more harm than good without proper guidance. Essentially, swimming has its pros and cons, but it’s always best to consult an expert on matters related to your health.

If you’re concerned about your back health, consider talking to a spine specialist at Orthopedic & Laser Spine Surgery. Our doctors have the experience necessary to give you proper guidance on caring for your back muscles and spine. The spine specialists at OLSS are highly trained and are committed to giving patients the finest care possible. To learn more about preventing back pain or back pain treatment options, call us at (855) 853-6542 or submit our contact form to receive more information.